Recently one of my clients who uses Method Integration (www.methodintegration.com) wanted to have their order for group the items based of a specific column. This is not possible with just the default QuickBooks software, but can be easily done in Method using the Method Report Designer.
The Method Report Designer lets you customize the layout, format, grouping and sorting of reports and documents. It’s a powerful tool with a lot of options, and can be a bit intimidating at first, but is well worth the work of learning how to harness this power.
The first thing that I do is start with a copy of an existing document that I want to modify. This client was using Estimates for their order forms, so I opened the existing Estimate report and saved it with a different name. As you can see from the screenshot, there’s a lot of information already on this form. We’re going to be dealing with the area around the Detail 1 section of the report, as this is where all the line items from the estimate are displayed.
Click for larger image
We need to insert a section (called bands) that does grouping. To do this, right click the Detail 1 section/band, select Insert Band, then select Group Header. Your report will show a new section with the word GroupHeader. To the right side, in the property pane, locate the Group Fields property (listed under the category, “Behavior”). Currently it should show the value of “(Collection)”. Click the ellipses to view the grouping collection editor.
The grouping collection editor allows you to specify the fields that you will group by. Simply click the Add button to add a new grouping. On the right side, you’ll see two options, “Field Name” and “Sort Order”. For field name, click the drop down and select the field that you want to group by. You can also choose to sort the groups Ascending or Descending. Click OK to save the Grouping. If you preview your report, you should now see your items grouped by the field that you just selected.
Keep in mind that you’ll probably want to add some labels to the group header to let the end user know what the grouping is. For my client, I had to add a new column to the Items table to track which room each item was in. I was then able to group by the room, so no matter what order the client entered the items, it keeps them together if they are in the same room.